The Inca Empire originated from a tribe located in the Cuzco area of Andes. In 1438 they began a major expansion that brought much of the Andes under the control of the Incas. The Incas began to further expand their control by establishing a federal empire. They approached neighboring tribes and offered them the opportunity to peacefully join the empire. Most did, and before long the Inca empire stretched from what is today Ecuador southward, covering most of Chile.

The Incas believed in many gods. The most important god was the Sun god. The Incas built their temple at the highest point to be closest to the Sun god. The Incas believed that the gods had blessed their empire. The Inca worshiped their gods religiously.

The Incas had the largest army in the New World. They recruited males from all parts of the Empire to become soldiers in their army. Their army was equipped with bronze and bone tipped spears, clubs with stone slings and wooden swords. Their cities were fortified. The Incas thought they were safe from any outside threats.

The Incas were surprised when Pizarro arrived. Their King Atahualpa was overconfident and spurned Pizarro's request. After all, Atahualpa had 80,000 troops with him and Pizarro had less than 200. This overconfidence was misplaced. Pizarro's better-trained men were able to seize Atahualpa. The Incas offered a very large ransom. They filled the room that Atahualpa was held in with gold and two additional rooms with silver. Pizarro took the randsom and did not keep his side of the bargain. Instead he killed the Inca leader. The Spanish went on to capture the Inca capital of Cuzco. The Incas continued to resist the Spanish, even after the fall of their capital. That resistance did not fully end for 40 years.